Water in Paris, Part 1: La Seine

A series on Water in Paris Part 1: La Seine We all associate the Seine with Paris even though this river only runs 13 of its 776 kilometers in Paris. In fact La Seine starts not too far from Dijon on a plateau at a place called Source-Seine. Its origins are several springs of clear ground water that flow together on the surface forming a small stream. A spring has always been an important place throughout history and in this particular case the source of the Seine was known and revered back in the time of Gaul. This spring was the kingdom of the goddess or nymphe Séquanna and she gave her name to the river in about the 1st century. The Seine, in French, is called a fleuve. We don't have a specific word for this in English. A fleuve is different than a rivière. A fleuve flows into the ocean and a rivière flows into an inland body of water. France has 5 major fleuves and many, many rivières. Today the Seine's flow is controlled by a series of lakes and canals upstream tha…
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90+ Eiffel and Eiffel Tower facts – part 3

Eiffel Tower facts collected for you by FUSAC. Part 3 of a 3 part series Part 1 facts 1 through 35 Part 2 facts 36 through 72 Part 3 facts 73 through 102 - we just couldn't stop! "Je vais être jaloux de cette tour. Elle est plus célèbre que moi." – Gustave Eiffel Beginning in 1997, 1000 days before turning of the millennium the Eiffel Tower began the countdown to the year 2000 when a giant fireworks display was put on. The first “coloring” of the tower was for the Chinese new year in 2004 when the lights were a scarlet red. The tower has since been blue, green and many other colors commemorating different anniversaries or events including terrorist attacks. The Eiffel Tower is stuck by lightening quite frequently, but it is hard to capture a photo. Parisian Bertrand Kulik has done it several times. There is an underground bunker which was, during WWII, the most carefully protected spot in Paris. This is where the radio operators re…
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90+ Eiffel and Eiffel Tower facts – part 2

Eiffel Tower facts collected for you by FUSAC. Part 2 of a 3 part series Part 1 facts 1 through 35 Part 2 facts 36 through 72 Part 3 facts 73 through 102 - we just couldn't stop! "Je vais être jaloux de cette tour. Elle est plus célèbre que moi." – Gustave Eiffel The Eiffel Tower and Margaret Thatcher share the same nickname - La Dame de Fer ("The Iron Lady"). In 1960 Charles de Gaulle proposed temporarily dismantling the tower and sending it to Montreal for Expo 67. The plan was rejected. The names of 72 engineers, scientists and mathematicians are engraved on the side of the tower, each of whom contributed to its construction. In the computer game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the tower is toppled by an airstrike. There are 20,000 light bulbs, 5000 per face, on the Eiffel Tower to make it sparkle every night. The sparkling bulbs were installed by hand over 5 months by 25 climbers for the year 2000. Souvenir sales began immed…
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Paris Haiku: Paris is poetry. Paris is a poem.

"Paris is poetry.  Paris is a poem.  I’m probably not the first person to write these sentiments.  But, I might be the first to write: “Paris is a haiku!”  Around every cobbled corner is an “Aha!” moment waiting to be captured. Open your “haiku eyes” (*) and come along with me on a journey through Paris and French culture, in haiku." Anna Eklund-Cheong is a haikuist and American expatriate living in Paris. Here is a selection of her haikus capturing fleeting moments of her (and your) favorite city.  

from giant clock eyes

Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh

overlook the Seine

sewing together

the raw edges of the Seine

each stitch an arched bridge

      squeeze into creaky rattan bistro chairs, and stay as long as you like …
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90+ Eiffel and Eiffel Tower facts – part 1

Eiffel Tower facts collected for you by FUSAC. Part 1 of a 3 part series Part 1 facts 1 through 35 Part 2 facts 36 through 72 Part 3 facts 73 through 102 - we just couldn't stop! "Je vais être jaloux de cette tour. Elle est plus célèbre que moi." – Gustave Eiffel Completed on March 31, 1889, the tower was the world’s tallest man-made structure for 41 years until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. It is 324 meters tall (including antennas) and weighs 10,100 tons. It was the tallest structure in France until the construction of a military transmitter in the town of Saissac in 1973. The Millau Viaduct, completed in 2004, is also taller, at 343 meters. It is possible to climb to the top, but there are 1,665 steps. Most people take the lift. 45 people fit in the elevator at a time allowing the transportation of 1700 people per hour. The lifts travel a combined distance of 103,000 km a year – two and a half times the circumfer…
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Discover 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French This cute little book that fits in your hand was inspired from the original article 20 Ways You Know You're Becoming French The article got such good response from our readers that author Shari Leslie Segall had the great idea to make it into a book. We teamed up with an artist  for watercolor illustrations and thought up more than 90+ points that are ways you know you are becoming French. Such as: would never conceive of a holiday menu without foie gras, oysters and glazed chestnuts ask everyone you know about their recent/upcoming vacances know who Marianne is Judith, an American in Paris since the 1990s, had this to say after reading the book 90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French:

"This is really funny--I actually improved my quality of life from "Becoming French". The one about saying bonjour to the bus driver and not your neighbor? I realized I didn't often greet the bus driver so …

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Paris novels: “Je T’Aime, Maybe” by April Lily Heise. Interview and extract

April Lily Heise is a Paris-based Canadian writer of Paris novels and romance expert. When she is not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on Paris, dating, culture and travel. Her writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, CondéNastTraveler.com, Business Insider, Frommer’s, City Secrets, DK Eyewitness, among others. She is the author of two novelized memories on her romantic misadventures in Paris Je T'Aime, Me Neither and its sequel, Je T’Aime… Maybe? She also shares original things to do in Paris, dating tips and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com. FUSAC asked her where she got her inspiration for her Paris novels. Are the novels based on your personal experience? I like to call my books novelized memoirs, the stories are all based on reality but are told in a lively storybook fashion, like modern-day fairy tales. Though like modern love... there are often complications and the road can be rocky towards a happy or not so happy ending. …
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FUSAC in the press – By Inspirelle

FUSAC Packs 28 Years of Paris Know How into Books for Expats For years, newcomers to Paris have known that the acronym FUSAC is one of the first words to learn when adapting to their new environment. Transferring to Paris? Seek out FUSAC’s ads for apartment rentals or find great used furniture sales. Leaving? Sell off your household goods quickly by posting an ad. Job searches, advice, it’s all been there for the past 28 years. And, what’s so incredibly impressive about FUSAC is that it is founded and entirely run by a devoted couple, Lisa and John Vanden Bos, with their assistant Caroline. Many of us at INSPIRELLE can remember picking up our free copy of the FUSAC magazine at one of the English-speaking bookstores or shops in Paris. Today, FUSAC is available exclusively online, and its owners have packed all their knowledge and experience with expats into three books: 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, Speak Easy Puzzles (volume 3) and, most recently, the FUSAC Free G…
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